Christmas cards are making a comeback. Hooray! I love receiving Christmas cards, they make me remember the Christmases from my childhood. Are you planning on sending out Christmas cards this year? If so, you may want to start making your lists, and checking them twice, to be sure your cards are ready to mail on time.
Christmas Card Love Is A Multigenerational Affair
If you’re a Baby boomer or a Gen Xer, then your memories of Christmases past probably include visions of Christmas cards dancing in your head. In the 70s, when I was growing up, the Christmas cards that your family had received were as much a part of the decorations as the ornaments on the Christmas tree. And sometimes, the ornaments on your tree were made from the Christmas cards your family had received in years past.
In our home, we would tape our incoming Christmas cards to the interior doorway frames. The first one or two received would be taped in the center of our largest door frame. Then, each new card received would be taped accordingly beside those already in place. It seemed almost every day one or more cards would come in the mail, and then, after being read, they would be added in line with the others. Once the largest door frame was covered we would start on smaller door frames too. For me, the anticipation for Christmas Eve grew each day as new cards were added. Past experience had taught me that when the doorways were mostly filled, with our homemade Christmas card garland, it would time for Christmas.
Not all Christmas Cards are delivered through the mail
Our largest stacks of Christmas cards didn’t come in the mail though, they came through the church. Each Sunday from Thanksgiving until the new year, there would be a table in our vestibule with a stack of Christmas cards for each family. If you were old enough to read you may be sent to the table to retrieve the cards that were addressed to your family, or you may even get to help sort the cards your family had brought to give to others. Either way, it was an excellent chance to imagine you were a mail carrier.
Not every family hung their Christmas cards in the doorways. Some homes placed their Christmas cards on tabletops, and fireplace mantles, or on pianos. Some hung their cards on the walls instead or even in their windows to be enjoyed from outside
Christmas Cards Are Reusable
Christmas cards were also used to make different kinds crafts. We often taped the pictures from the Christmas cards we received one year, to the packages for the next, using them as beautiful gift tags and wrapping decorations. We also folded them accordion style and made homemade fan ornaments. And these are just two of many examples of recycling Christmas cards.
That’s enough nostalgia, let’s get back to today…
From my research, it seems that it’s not just Baby boomers and Gen X-ers that are missing Christmas cards, it seems that millennials are starting to send them too. So, no matter what your age you may be sending Christmas cards this year. Whether your out of practice or even if this is your first year to send Christmas cards an early start can help to make sure your cards are actually mailed and delivered, and not forgotten, and then thrown into the box of Christmas decorations with hopes of being completed next year.
Tips for sending Christmas cards successfully.
It is suggested that the best time for your recipients to receive your Christmas cards greeting is in mid-November. This will beat the Christmas package mailing rush and will also help to make sure that Christmas cards reach their destination on time despite any weather delays. USPS.Com states that a card mailed first-class should take 1-3 days to be delivered, however, it has been my experience on several occasions that it has taken up to five days. This means that you will want to be ready to mail your cards during the first week of December.
But there’s much to do before you can start mailing your Christmas cards.
It is suggested that you always hand-write something in your Christmas card. Even just your hand-written name and a small greeting give a personal touch to your holiday hello . So allow yourself some time to sit down and fill out both your cards and to address your envelopes, if you don’t pre-order them with a printed greeting and already addressed.
And speaking of addressing your envelopes, even the world wide web won’t have every address your looking for readily available. Some of your friends and family will have moved since the last online update, so be sure to compile a list of names and addresses in late October or early November.
CHRISTMAS CARD ADD-ONS
And then there’s the pictures of the kids and family
People love to both give and receive family pictures with Christmas cards. You can order pictures to be inserted in your cards, or order pictures that actually are your Christmas cards. If you are having pictures made especially to be sent with Christmas cards you’ll want to book your photo sessions soon.
I asked some Christmas card photo advice from Randy, of Randy Riddle Photography. When asked about the best time to book photo sessions for Christmas cards, Randy said that she suggests to her clients that they have them taken by the last week of November. Randy said that most photographers will offer mini photo sessions for Christmas photos during the last two weeks of November but some start as early as the first week of November. Randy also suggested contacting popular photographers in October to be sure you have your time reserved for a November photo secession.
Recipes Also Make Great Christmas Card Gifts
Something else to think about adding to your Christmas cards is your favorite recipe. My mother has been making a wonderful old-fashioned pumpkin bread for all of my life. Through nearly every holiday season, and all through each winter too, I can remember the smell and taste of that pumpkin bread. She received this much-loved recipe in a Christmas card during the 60’s. She recently told me that she has often thought that that recipe was one of the nicest gifts she has ever received. And after having this pumpkin bread around our home for all these years, I’d have to agree. Our family holidays sure would have smelled and tasted different had she never received that one special Christmas card. If you’d like that pumpkin bread recipe, to bake for yourself, or to give a copy in your Christmas cards, you can find it here. On my Old-fashioned Pumpkin Bread Recipe blog post.
These modern days are not as Christmas card friendly as the good old days were.
For all of our modern convinces, we still seem to have so little time to enjoy the sweetest things life has to offer. There are so many things that pull for our attention these days, and especially during the Holiday season . To me, that realization of all the pressures of time, is one of the reasons why an old fashion Christians card in my mailbox, has become one of my favorite gifts.
That moment, in December, when I pull a card out of my mailbox, and see the return address, I will feel so special. To think that someone, with a schedule as busy as mine, took the time to add my name to a list and gather my address in November, or possibly even as early as October. To know that, leading up to Thanksgiving, or maybe even during their holiday break, they took a moment to hand write Merry Christmas just for our family. To know that among their own rush of Christmas shopping, holiday decorating and baking, Christmas play practices, and all the regular craziness of these days, they cared enough to send little ol’ me a Christmas card . Not only will I feel loved but in that moment, it will feel to me like Christmas to me.
Somehow, that small gift of paper represents a much larger gift of thoughtfulness, and precious time given just for you and your family. That sweet and simple salutation embodies so much of what we believe Christmas to be about
Christmas isn’t about the lights, the music, the decorations on the tree, or even the gifts under the tree. Christmas is about giving – the way God gave his son. Christmas is about is about reconnecting with one’s that we love- the way that Jesus made a way for us to reconnect to the Father. And Christmas is about sharing time, love, and good cheer with others that are outside of our normal circle – the way we, as Christians, are called to share our time in spreading the love and good news of the gospel.
So this year, when I receive Christmas cards , I will happily take them inside. I will show them to my family and then hang them in a doorway, just like we did when I was young. But when I send my Christmas cards, I will do it with love and a prayer, that each family would remember Christmases past, and know the love and gifts of God, through Jesus Christ.
Christmas cards are making a comeback. Hooray! Start your Christmas card list today.